The new Superb will become a brand builder for Skoda, helping to push it towards 40,000 sales next year. The upper medium class Superb, due on UK sale next June, revives a Skoda brand name from the 1930s when it was attached to prestige limousine cars.
Rob Tracey, Skoda director, said: “Superb is a positive word that will create its own headlines. There is no question the car lives up to its heritage.”
Skoda hopes the Superb, based on an extended VW Passat platform, will strengthen its position in the corporate sector. It expects up to 80% of the expected 1,000 sales next year – 3,000 in a full year – to be sold to user-choosers, contract hire firms and fleets.
“With the changes in company car taxation next April, the business market will be up for grabs,” said Mr Tracey. “We have emissions efficient cars that will cost less under the new rules than many rivals. Superb means company car drivers will be able to maintain their status at a lower cost.”
Skoda is gearing up for a massive swing in the UK towards diesel engines – despite the Government's 3% company car tax premium – as drivers demand more economic cars. Mr Tracey said: “We believe 50-60% of Superb sales will be diesel.”
Superb will be available in three specifications (classic, comfort and elegance) with a choice of three petrol engines – 2-litre, 1.8T and 2.8-litre V6 – and two diesels – 1.9TDi and 2.5 V6. Entry price is expected to be less than £15,000.